NEWSLINK Washington Post: After the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. tried to help Russians.

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

Mr. Putin’s remarks reflect a deep-seated paranoia. It would be easy to dismiss this kind of rhetoric as intended for domestic consumption, an attempt to whip up support for his war adventure in Ukraine. In part, it is that. But Mr. Putin’s assertion that the West has been acting out of a desire to sunder Russia’s power and influence is a […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Judge Rebuffs U.S. in Rejecting Extradition of Ukraine Billionaire

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

In a defeat for the United States, an Austrian judge refused Thursday to order the extradition of Dmitri V. Firtash, a Ukrainian billionaire and onetime patron of the country’s ousted president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, siding with defense lawyers who said the American request was politically motivated.

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#89 table of contents with links :: Johnson’s Russia List – Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#89 :: Tuesday 5 May 2015 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php 1. The Independent (UK): Mary Dejevsky, Once again, the West fails to understand Russia. Western leaders are staying away from this year’s Victory Day, […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#88 table of contents with links :: Johnson’s Russia List – Monday, May 4, 2015

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#88 :: Monday 4 May 2015 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php RUSSIA 1. AFP: Russia mourns its ballet legend rebel Plisetskaya. 2. Antiwar.com: Justin Raimondo, Lessons of the Vietnam War. We haven’t learned them. […]

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Order of Battle

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – April 30 2015) Russia will commemorate the end of World War II on May 9 with its traditional military parade through Red Square. But this year the parade will be more closely watched than normal, as it will also be a chance for Russian President Vladimir Putin […]

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Foreign currency protests in Russia – a chance for the opposition?

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

While political demonstrations are on the slide, economic protests are on the rise in Russia. Can the two be united? (opendemocracy.net – Dmitry Florin – April 30, 2015) Dmitry Florin is an independent journalist based in Moscow, Russia. The Russian opposition is a broad church. Just as radical leftists hold their own marches, so do the liberals and the nationalists. […]

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Kyiv denies shelling Donetsk

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

KYIV. May 3 (Interfax) – Kyiv on Sunday denied allegations by Moscow that Ukrainian heavy artillery has been shelling Donetsk. “Any use of weapons by units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, if it takes place, is purely and simply a forced response to armed provocations from illegal armed units that are active in individual districts and is made in […]

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Interfax: Russia ready to cooperate with West in tackling terror, regional conflicts – Sergei Ivanov

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(Interfax – May 2, 2015) Russia will still cooperate with the United States and Europe in fighting terrorism, resolving regional conflicts and countering other modern challenges, if partners are keen on that, says Sergei Ivanov, the chief of the Russian presidential administration. “New threats and challenges emerged, for example, terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts. Russia […]

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Sanoma sells Vedomosti to comply with Russian media law

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – April 30, 2015) Finnish publishing company Sanoma has sold its 33.3% share in the Russian business daily Vedomosti to publishing executive Demyan Kudryavtsev, in the latest shake-up to Russia’s media landscape caused by new legislation limiting foreign ownership. The stake in Delovoi Standard, the publisher of the daily, was sold to […]

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Russian Economy May Be Stumbling Back To Its Feet

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Oilprice.com – Andy Tully – May 3, 2015) The Bank of Russia has cut interest rates for the third time so far this year, reinforcing forecasts by some government ministers that the country’s economic woes are beginning to stabilize. The central bank cut its key rate on April 30 to 12.5 percent, a reduction of 1.5 points, and said it would […]

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NEWSLINK AP: US Experts on Russia Fear Escalation Over Ukraine.

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

U.S. experts on Russia see a growing danger the crisis in Ukraine that has already taken thousands of lives could explode, although the latest cease-fire agreement has partially held. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_UNITED_STATES_RUSSIA_ANALYSIS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russia may be readying for new Ukraine offensive – NATO commander

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Russia’s military may be taking advantage of a recent lull in fighting in eastern Ukraine to lay the groundwork for a new military offensive, NATO’s top commander told the U.S. Congress on Thursday. U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, the NATO supreme allied commander, said Russian forces had been seeking to “reset and reposition” while protecting battlefield gains, despite a […]

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NEWSLINK Foreign Affairs: Paper Tiger Putin; The Failure of Russia’s Anachronistic Antagonism

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

Russian President Vladimir Putin is not as strong as he might seem, or, more important, as he might hope. Although Russia supports fighters in Ukraine, invaded Georgia in 2008, sold missile systems to Iran, and recently threatened Denmark and Lithuania with nuclear war, it is, in reality, a muted and restrained power operating in a system that no longer supports […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Ukraine Talks Are Planned on Moving Beyond Cease-Fire. All sides in conflict with pro-Russian rebels to discuss reconstruction, security and refugees

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

France and Russia said Thursday that working groups from opposing sides in the conflict in eastern Ukraine will meet within a week to discuss reconstruction, security and how to deal with refugees who have fled the fighting in recent months.

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russia cuts key interest rate, hopes worst of crisis over

File Photo of Elvira Nabiullina at OECD Event, at Podium and On Large Video Screen

Russia’s central bank cut its main lending rate by 1-1/2 percentage points on Thursday, its third rate cut this year, a sign that it believes the worst of an economic crisis is over. The cut to 12.5 percent follows the rouble’s recovery in recent weeks after a dramatic decline last year as global oil prices fell and Western economic sanctions […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#87 table of contents with links :: Johnson’s Russia List – Friday May 1, 2015

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#87 :: Friday 1 May 2015 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php PUTIN 1. Rossiya 1 TV: TV marks 15 years of Putin’s leadership with dedicated documentary – transcript. 2. Moscow Times: Putin Opens Up About […]

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Putin Needs Neither War Nor Peace in Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – April 29, 2015) Russia’s toxicity for investors is suddenly so 2014. Western money is returning to Moscow’s equity and bond markets, and private Russian companies are again able to borrow, albeit at a premium to Western peers. The main cause for this reversal of fortunes is the cease-fire in Ukraine, even though it […]

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‘Russia is the Motherland of Crimea’ – What Crimean Schoolchildren Think

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – YALTA, Crimea – April 30, 2015) “Who do you think is responsible for the war in eastern Ukraine?” asked Masha, a 17-year old student at School No. 12 in Yalta, Crimea. I paused. “Russia.” A gasp went around the classroom. Masha looked at me as if I was mad. “No way,” she […]

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Ukraine faces challenges of coalition infighting, devolution

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Sergei Kuznetsov in Kyiv – April 30, 2015) While Western nations refuse to provide Ukraine with arms, preferring instead to financially drip-feed the country and maintain pressure on Russia with sanctions, Kyiv is facing several new challenges – in particular keeping the ruling coalition together at the same time as managing the thorny process […]

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The Worst Job In The World? Meet NATO’s Envoy To Russia

NATO Meeting file photo

(RFE/RL – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, April 30, 2015) Robert Pszczel said he felt like he was in a Monty Python skit when he made a routine call to Russia’s Defense Ministry back in June 2013. “We cannot talk to you!” came the agitated reply in a hissed whisper, says Pszczel, acting out the scene for comic effect. This was how Pszczel, NATO’s […]

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Russian Businessman Buys Moscow Times and Vedomosti Newspapers

Moscow Times Sample Covers and Mobile Device Display

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 30, 2015) Finnish media group Sanoma said Thursday it would sell The Moscow Times newspaper to a Russian businessman. Sanoma has agreed to sell United Press, which publishes newspapers and magazines in Russia including The Moscow Times, and signed a deal to sell its minority stake in business daily Vedomosti, the company said in […]

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Putin’s Personality Cult Exceeds Stalin’s ‘by Every Measure,’ Kantor Says

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 29, 2015) Although few want to recognize that this is the case, the personality cult surrounding Vladimir Putin far exceeds the one that surrounded Stalin “by all measures” and has become what can best be described as “the religion of a pagan empire,” according to Moscow commentator Maksim Kantor. In a post […]

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Putin Opens Up About Parents’ World War II Experience

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 1, 2015) [Putin’s article with illustrations here http://ruspioner.ru/cool/m/single/4655] Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has written a magazine column about his parents’ struggles and hardships during World War II, but said they did not hate Nazi Germans – unlike his own generation that did. “There wasn’t a family who didn’t lose someone [during the war]. But they […]

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